The Stained
Glass Museum

About Us

The Stained Glass Museum offers a unique insight into the fascinating history of stained glass, an art-form that has been practised in Britain for at least thirteen hundred years. Our permanent gallery displays over 125 stained glass panels representing eight hundred years of the history of this ancient art, from the thirteenth century to the present day. All the stained glass panels in the gallery are displayed at eye-level enabling visitors to have a rare close-encounter with the art of stained glass. Temporary exhibitions are also held throughout the year, highlighting panels and designs from the Museum's reserve collection.


The Collection

Click here to browse The Stained Glass Museum's Collection


The Stained Glass Museum's Collection includes over 1,000 stained glass panels from both religious and secular buildings, from all parts of the British Isles. In addition to the many completed stained glass panels and windows, the Museum has a number of smaller trial-pieces of stained and painted glass, fragments and samples of glass material, many of which derived from artists' studios.

Preparatory Designs, Cartoons, Maquettes

The Museum has a small but significant collection of preparatory designs, cartoons and maquettes relating to nineteenth- and twentieth-century stained glass. These designs are sometimes displayed as part of temporary exhibitions.

Tools, materials and other miscellaneous objects

The Museum also has a collection of tools and materials related to the design and manufacture of glass, lead and stained glass windows. Many of these are on display in the main gallery.

The Stained Glass Museum continues to collect stained glass and associated materials and develop its collections. For more information view our Collections Development Policy.

History of the Museum

The Stained Glass Museum was founded in 1972 as a repository to rescue stained glass windows under threat from destruction. The Museum first opened to the public in 1979 in the north triforium of Ely Cathedral. After a successful 25th Anniversary Appeal, funds were raised to refit the Museum in the South Triforium and the Museum re-opened in April 2000. Between 2012 and 2013 a major flexible display project was completed in the gallery.

The Stained Glass Museum is the only museum dedicated to stained glass in the UK, and one of a handful of places in the world with such a broad chronological span of stained glass exhibits.

The Stained Glass Museum Trust is registered with the Charity Commission and holds Full Accredited status with the Arts Council.

Registered Charity No. 274776

Accredited Museum No. 574

  Last edited: Friday, 27 March, 2015 14:15